Synchro-edit Control Mystery Solved for Sony Mini-VTRs at

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > The Long Black Line

The Long Black Line
Tape, tape and more tape; and decks; HDV, DV, VHS and more.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 14th, 2005, 05:30 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 366
Synchro-edit Control Mystery Solved for Sony Mini-VTRs

On the off chance that someone else in this NLE-centric group is using two Sony DV or Digital8 mini-VTRs, I'll pass on what I finally figured out about control communication between them. This might also be relevant if using a full-sized DV VTR with a mini model in the GV-D series.

I needed to edit and re-record a bunch of older Digital8 tapes onto DV. My Sony GV-D1000 is the DV deck and a GV-D200 is the Digital8 one. They are supposed to work together to do synchro-editing. However, after I'd edit-marked the segments on the Digital8 player and set up the DV deck to record, it just stayed in record/pause, while the player did its job. The FireWire passed the audio & video through just fine, but the control signal wouldn't start and stop the recorder. In case you're wondering, I had put the recorder through the recommended synchronization procedure with the player. Who would have thought that these close cousins wouldn't read each other's FireWire control commands? I didn't check to see if a FireWire command was properly passed, when the player and recorder's roles were reversed. I will look into that soon, but I'm not hopeful it will work any better.

So, as the manuals suggest, I set them up for IR control.
The DV deck still didn't respond. Luckily, I speculated that the IR command modes they send from their transmitters on the back, might be different than the mode #2 that is sent from the small remote controlers that Sony supplies with camcorders. They don't furnish these controlers with the mini-VTRs, but they recommend borrowing them from a camcorder, as they do operate the VTRs. The VTRs have to be set to mode #2 to respond to them. However, it turns out that the VTRs send out mode #3 commands from their own IR transmitters. So, the recorder in the editing pair has to be set to mode #3. After this adjustment, they work fine together for me, sending the A/V over FireWire, but needing IR for the edit control. The back of the player has to face the front of the recorder for IR communication.

Command modes and command codes: two different things. They must be set in separate parts of the Menu. But, I didn't find a hint about this IR command mode issue in the manuals. The command code for these VTRs is coincidentally, code #3, the default setting. The IR code setting should be checked in the Menus, to be sure both VTRs are on code #3.

Fortunately, I have a big, full-featured remote controler from an older Sony Hi-8 VCR. It can be shifted between command modes #1, #2 and #3, but the camcorder controlers are fixed in mode #2 only. The shuttle wheel and jog buttons on the big controler are very useful and if anyone has one from a full-sized Sony VCR, they work the little models from the DV-D series very well.

I also tried using my JVC HR-DVS3U DV/S-VHS VCR as a recorder with the GV-D200. The FireWire commands started and stopped its recording, but it skipped the first 3 seconds of each segment. There's no way to set the synchronization with the player on this deck, so it can be used only in completely manual, crash-editing. However, this JVC model works flawlessly over FireWire with my computer, responding precisely to its commands.

Many will be thinking that I should just use one mini-VTR and a computer, but these little gems can be easily taken into the field, to have a portable editing system, that runs on camcorder batteries. Most laptop computers that did a good job at NLE, would be bigger, heavier and more expensive. And there's the matter of saving wear on a camcorder during editing.
Steve McDonald

Last edited by Steve McDonald; December 14th, 2005 at 06:20 AM.
Steve McDonald is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

(800) 238-8480
Glendale, CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > The Long Black Line

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:54 PM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2015 The Digital Video Information Network